October Roundup

Someone pinch me – I think I have missed October. It seems to have gone by in a flash and I have been busy with trips to Knitting and Stitching shows, Guildford Book Festival as well as work. It has never been a dull day and whilst I do not enjoy sitting in on disciplinary, return to works, etc I have enjoyed the challenge. But then I have enjoyed winding up the grandmother clock that sits in our foyer (it has somehow got to be my job) as well as being Princess Anne and ordering snowballs! Variation and the ability to be able multi task and drop from one thing to another is paramount in my job, even more so in October. Please let November be a quieter month……

But as for the reading this month, variation still has to be the key, but it has taken a rather easy read, know what you are getting kind of stance. And not a crime book in sight!

Familiarity although they say it breeds contempt it actually brings joy and this is why I have read two Joanne Fluke novels this month Cherry Cheesecake Murder and Key Lime Pie Murder. In quick succession as well, which I seem to do with the books. They are great cosy crime and just what you need when the brain is somewhat stretched to capacity.

Whilst knowing what you are getting can be a good thing, sometimes you also need to have a laugh and this is where Gideon Defoe – The Pirates in an Adventure with Communists* came in. I do heartily (said with a ooargghh pirate voice) recommend these books both for adults and children alike. An adventure with a few life lessons thrown in for good measure that you don’t even realise it.

If you want even more of a laugh then I can certainly recommend anything by Gervase Phinn. His autobiographical tales of a Yorkshire School Inspector have made me howl laughing on more than one occasion. The Little Village School* is his first foray into adult fiction and I was worried that perhaps it may cause me to become complacent because I had heard the stories before and they were just being regurgitated into a fictional form, I was much mistaken. This was a book which had a good storyline and I actually did not want to finish it. My Book Club choice for October and one that actually went down very well.

I could have stuck to tried and tested authors this month, but I did branch out with a few that I have never read before. First up was Milly Johnson – An Autumn Crush. A book I picked up in a charity shop and it had been on my shelf for a while and I thought as Autumn has now dawned it might make an appropriate reading start. I enjoyed it and can see why Milly is a much desired author and I have another author who no doubt I can turn to when I just want to read and close the book, having enjoyed it but not necessarily need to think about it any more. Believe you me there are times when you need that with a book.

Sticking with new authors, The French House – Nick Alexander* was another book I had acquired (I think as part of a goody bag) and had been languishing on my shelf for a while. I was expecting something and had made assumptions about this book, and whilst I got some of what I thought, it did really surprise me. Sometimes it pays to pick randomly off your shelf.

Laurie Graham – At Sea*. Was both a random choice, in terms of buying the book. I was intrigued by the blurb but also the fact that I was seeing her at the Guildford Book Festival Readers Day (more about that soon I promise). I did not start the book until the morning of going and could not read much on the train as I felt rather motion sick. However, the writing and the story line was rather fascinating and I really enjoyed it. Surprising as I had one of her books on my shelf many many years ago and tried to read it and just could not get into it. The book got given away, I might just have to revisit that book at some point.

There was a book this month that I did pick up and put down and it will just be a book that is not going to be and that is Half Blood Blues – Esi Edugyan. It just was not working for me and I have read something lovely reviews on the book. I tried with it and realised that no, I had to put it down. I really could not get my head around the writing and the language used in the dialogue and so it has gone on another journey. I am slowly learning that you have to do that with books and not be afraid to.

When it comes to sorting out books and passing them on, I go through stages of sorting and either selling, donating to charity, passing onto friends when it looks like the books are going to overtake my flat. I am very lucky that I get sent quite a lot of review copies and for that I am much grateful, but I do have to have a purge and pass on those I can because I know I am never going to read them. Amongst this latest task I came across Janey Fraser – Happy Families* and had to make a decision yes or no. I decided yes and within a few days I had read the book and so that is another one off the pile of review books that I have read.

As the month of October closes, I have picked up the November Book Club choice which is Barack Obama, Dreams of My Father. A very different book and one I would not have chosen, so far it is fascinating. I wonder what other fascinating reads November will bring me?

*Book review yet to appear on this blog.


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